Africa is a huge continent that is rich with culture and history. Every country is unique with different tribes, cultures and dialects. Many of these traditions were lost to the children of the people who were captured and enslaved in the Americas and abroad. Many Americans attempt to learn more about Africa through studying Egypt. Learning hieroglyphics and about the pharaohs of ancient Egypt can instill pride of the great continent, but it is not the only place of greatness. The west coast of Africa is home to many beautiful, smart, and distinguished people who have proverbs and parables to help us even today. Hence, I chose a Nigerian God as a namesake. It is also the reason each product is named after an Adinkra symbol.
What is Adinkra?
Adinkra symbols are symbols that represent concepts, thoughts, parables, and quotes known in west Africa. They are symbols that common in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, taught among the Asante, Gyaman and Akan for generations. The symbols are often used in patterns on cloth. The word Adinkra also means “Goodbye” or “Farewell” in Twi. All the symbols tell a story or have a meaning behind them.
Why Use Adinkra Symbols?
As a southern woman of African descent, I was never taught of west African culture. America teaches a limited history. I had a desire to learn more about the cultures of west Africa after finding an ancestral DNA connection to the land. One of the things that I was raised with in the south was folk tales and parables. These stories were shared to teach lessons and to remind us of our humanity. I feel connected to the Adinkra symbols in the same way that I was connected to the parables of my youth.
The Adinkra symbols used in Olorun Skin were carefully chosen for each product. They are depicted to remind us of each principle behind the symbol. Each product will have the meaning of the symbol inscribed. We must learn the concepts of each symbol to unify and move on to a more prosperous future. There will be more information given about each symbol as each product is introduced. Along with the information of the symbol, there will be reasons why the Adinkra symbol was used and what we can do to help bring the principles of the symbol alive globally. I firmly believe that knowledge and understanding will help bring us together.
Afu, Uwa. (2015). Kente Success Journals. Adinkra Symbols.
Agbo, Adolph. (2015). Values of Adinkra Symbols. HBC Publishing.